Lockdown blamed for absentee students

A Principal has blamed the state of emergency lockdown for a drastic drop in the number of students attending class and falling behind on their studies. 

At Vaimauga College, for instance, Principal Faumuina Tovio Taefu, told the Samoa Observer more than one hundred students have not turned up since the lockdown started. The school has a roll of 650 students.

The current roll records just over 500 students at the school.

“Not all students are coming to school on the days they are expected to be at school,” he said.

“It got to the point where we were very close to begging and kneeling before parents because we are concerned about their children and their learning."

But that wasn't the only problem.

When some students finally returned, not only were they behind in their lessons, they also failed to bring books and stationery.

“It’s very challenging at the moment especially with their level of knowledge, we’re trying to lift up the standards,” he said.

“At this state, we have an additional programme in our curriculums called the learning support numeracy and learning support literacy.”

"These new invented curriculums are to drill the skills of these students to write and read words and numbers."

The teachers at the school have also been encouraged to help students wherever they can.

Asked if the school had considered sending some students home for coming to school unprepared, Faumuina said "never."

“As I said, since the beginning of this lockdown, we were close to kneeling to the parents to bring the children to school and that’s what we’ll keep doing,” he said.

“We’ll still push the students and the parents to bring their children to school as we understand the current state not just in our country but also with the rest of the world.”

The same concern is shared Lepea Primary School, where the Principal Masivao Faamau Aliimalemanu, many students and families are using the lockdown as an excuse for students to miss their classes and days of schools.

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